Woman’s Hospital at St. Joe East recognized with a BDC for Maternity Care designation

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/Saint Joseph East) – The Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East was recognized with a Blue Distinction® Centers+ (BDC+) for Maternity Care designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

According to the CDC, non-Hispanic Black women are two to three times more likely to die from preventable or treatable pregnancy-related complications compared to white women.

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To help address these gaps in care and to help ensure the better health of mothers, The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association enhanced its quality evaluation for the Maternity Care program to address key factors driving the United States’ maternal health crisis, such as preventable or treatable pregnancy-related conditions, high utilization of cesarean sections, and racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health care.

According to St. Joe East, the rates of episiotomies were 49% less those at Blue Distinction Centers (BDC and BDC+) than at those at non-Blue Distinction Centers (BDC and BDC+). In 2018, BDC/BDC+ facilities across the country cared for more than 40% of Blue Cross and Blue Shield commercially insured women giving birth.

The Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East was recognized by Anthem for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Centers+ quality selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“We are proud to receive this maternity care designation for our commitment to the quality of care each of our patients receive,” said Ralph Taylor, RN, MHA, MSN, RN-CNOR, vice president, Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, Saint Joseph East. “This designation is important because it examines patient outcomes and the quality of care they receive to help ensure expectant mothers are receiving the best care possible when they choose a facility for their health care needs. We are honored to be recognized for our strong program we offer and care that we provide. It’s one less thing expectant mothers have to worry about when bringing their newborn into the world.”

In 2020, the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care Program was expanded beyond traditional outcome measures to include assessments of internal quality improvement, data collection and dissemination, and internal protocols that better address clinical quality and equity issues in maternity care, according to St. Joe East.

New in the evaluation cycle, facilities must collect race ethnicity data, have a maternal quality improvement program, commence drills and simulations for adverse events, and have dedicated protocols and procedures for the management of hypertension and hemorrhage. In addition, they must meet clinical outcome metrics at a higher standard than required previously. Specifically, the rate for low risk first time cesarean sections (NTSV C-section rate, PC-02) has been aligned with the revised Healthy People 2020 goals. Facilities eligible for the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity care show statistically significant differences in key clinical outcomes compared to their peers.

“Blue Distinction designation is an important recognition of Saint Joseph East’s innovative and patient-centered approach to quality maternity care,” said Jeff Reynolds, M.D., Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky’s medical director. “The Blue Distinction program recognizes commitment to quality and helps consumers identify high performing health care providers. I congratulate Saint Joseph East’s entire maternity team for this well-deserved honor.”